by Mike Breen
As Cincinnati band’s “Shut Up and Dance” continues to climb the charts, the group gets set for primetime TV appearance
If you have access to a radio or television set, then you’re likely well aware that “Shut Up and Dance” by Cincinnati Dance Pop crew Walk the Moon has become a bona fide Pop hit. The single has been certified platinum, meaning it has sold more than one millions copies. The catchy, danceable track is currently at No. 5 on Billboard’s singles chart and has also performed very well on various other charts. “Shut Up” reached No. 2 on iTunes Top Songs chart and Billboard’s digital charts. On Spotify, the song has been streamed more than 78 million times, while “Shut Up”’s video has held a steady presence in the Top 10 of VH1’s Top 20 video countdown. Talking is Hard, Walk the Moon’s second album for RCA Records, continues to benefit from the single’s success, moving as high as No. 14 on Billboard’s overall album chart.
The Cincinnati band has worked hard to push “Shut Up and Dance” to the upper reaches of the Pop charts. Along with the usual late-night talk show circuit, Walk the Moon has also appeared on network morning shows like The Today Show (which used various WtM tunes as bumper music throughout the day the band appeared) and The Ellen DeGeneres Show. When DeGeneres introduced the group on her show, she called “Shut Up” the band’s “No. 1 hit,” which it wasn’t at the time but could end up there as Walk the Moon keeps up its relentless promotional push. WtM’s is also becoming a bigger and bigger concert draw, selling out many of its shows across the country (the band just recently completely another successful U.S. jaunt).
And WtM has also been making it onto prime time TV lately. Last month, Riker Lynch and Allison Holker danced to “Shut Up” for a routine on ABC’s Dancing with the Stars. Tuesday night (May 12), the band will play “Shut Up” as special guests on NBC’s popular singing competition, The Voice. Tune in to catch the performance at 8 p.m.
Though several Cincinnati-based acts have done well on a national level, crossing over to the top of the Pop charts is pretty rare, particularly for artists who choose to remain in their hometown while pursuing their career. Walk the Moon comes home to play Cincinnati’s Bunbury Music Festival on June 5 along the Ohio’s riverfront. Click here for tickets/details.
Plus, Plastic Ants release vinyl version of their debut, Ellery play book launch concert and Automagik delay EP
0 Comments · Wednesday, April 29, 2015
Country/Americana group Wilder issue its debut EP with a Kentucky Derby-themed release party, Plastic Ants celebrate the vinyl release of their debut album, Ellery hosts a book launch party in honor of singer Tasha Golden's poetry collection and Automagik premiere a new single/video but delay planned EP release.
Plus, news on new efforts from Jane Decker and The Rubber Knife Gang and the 'Bootleggers & Hustlers Volume One' compilation
0 Comments · Tuesday, April 14, 2015
Cincinnati area artists Ben Knight & the Welldiggers, Coconut Milk, Jane Decker and The Rubber Knife Gang celebrate new releases this week. Plus, Arnold's and Neltner Small Batch collaborate on a new local music compilation set for release on Record Store Day.
Plus, veteran local singer/songwriter Bob Cushing releases 'Troubadour Songs'
0 Comments · Wednesday, April 22, 2015
The 2015 MidPoint Indie Summer series, featuring free concerts every Friday on Fountain Square all summer long, spotlights the local music scene and brings in more notable national acts than ever before. Plus, veteran Cincinnati musician Bob Cushing celebrates his latest release, Troubadour Songs, this Saturday.
Plus, Hot for Alice releases its full-length debut and The Warsaw Falcons play the Woodward
0 Comments · Wednesday, April 8, 2015
The first Zines, Screens & Screams Fest, a celebration of DIY music and culture, comes to Main Street in Over-the-Rhine this Friday and Saturday. Plus, local Alt Pop Rock band Hot for Alice celebrates its debut album release, Sirens, and The Warsaw Falcons are back and playing this weekend with longtime friends The Tigerlilies and JetLab.
Plus, Tunes & Blooms, Walk the Moon and Brian Newman return to Cincy, The Chris Comer Space Dub Sextet debuts and local acts unite for 80’s Pop Rocks benefit
0 Comments · Wednesday, April 1, 2015
Cincinnati Indie Rock trio Old City celebrates the release of The Sun is My Light, the "Tunes & Blooms" concert series returns to the Cincinnati Zoo, the 80's Pop Rocks benefit celebrates ’80s music and raises funds for charity, Brian Newman returns from NYC for a rare local show, Jazz pianist debuts Chris Comer Space Dub Sextet and Walk the Moon plays sold out show at Bogart's.
by Nick Grever
Post American Idol, Cincinnati’s Jess Lamb scales back but continues her teaching job
For some musicians, their 9-to-5 is little more than a means to an end. Pizza and guitar strings don’t pay for themselves, after all. Others take pride in their work, both on stage and in the “real world,” but view them as two parts of a whole.But for Jess Lamb, her twin identities as a musician and teacher are deeply intertwined. She works hard in both professional avenues and has put a large amount of effort into maintaining them, even during her post-American Idol influx of activities. It’s a balancing act with some unexpected complications that she is still learning to walk gracefully. But for Lamb, there is no other choice.“I think that the public has seen me as a teacher and I don’t want my name to be tainted by this other persona, this other career, this other life. So I don’t want to be slosh drunk. I don’t want to be like Jim Morrison in my experimenting with life. But at the same time there’s a whole other vibe with playing in venues, playing in bars and it is very different from the teacher thing,” Lamb explains.Before Idol, Lamb’s work as a musician and an ESL teacher were more easily separated. Nowadays, with the added exposure that Idol has brought to her and her late-night performances around town, she has had to go to greater lengths to protect the sanctity of both. A shot of Jameson may not be thrown back with the same careless abandon as a few months prior and photo ops are utterly devoid of the counter-cultural staples of, say, a middle finger or devil horns. This isn’t to say that Lamb was or is a reckless partier at night and a quiet bookworm during the day.Rather, what happens at night can bleed into the daylight hours and her work in one aspect of life can’t compromise the other. She has to take into account who her new audience members may be and how they learned of Lamb. Being a teacher requires maintaining professionalism at all times. When a teacher is shown on national television, keeping that even-headed mentality all day and all night becomes even more important.Considering all the time that Lamb has spent on her music after her Idol run, some may wonder why she doesn’t put the teaching on hold for the time being. Between the Idol recaps she does regularly for Fox 19 since leaving the show, the myriad interviews, the residencies at Japps in Over-the-Rhine and Jags in West Chester (as well as other shows), the studio work and all the other opportunities that have arisen, finding time for teaching is pretty much impossible at this point. In fact, Lamb has cut down her teaching work to roughly four hours a week, doing basic lesson planning and similar activities. But she still carves out time for her teaching for a very important purpose.“I don’t do it for the money, it’s not sustaining me. I do it for my spirit. It’s for something that feels important, I don’t know that what I’m doing all the time feels important,” Lamb says.She views being a teacher and an entertainer as two professions with two different contributions to society. Music and teaching both give something back to the community at large, but she feels that teaching impacts the public on a much larger scale. While singing in a smoky bar reaches a small amount of people, teaching has a much larger reach.Ultimately, Lamb is a musician and teacher in equal measure. At this point, the music is taking more of her time, but she is determined to not let it take all of it.“I don’t want to cancel out one or the other with a teacher persona that’s too square or a Rock star persona that’s too crazy and unstable,” Lamb says.For Lamb, finding a mix of her two professions and passions is an ever-present struggle. When Idol rocketed her music to the forefront, she has had to constantly work to balance it out with activities that are equally as fulfilling. It hasn’t been an easy process by any means but one that she sees as absolutely necessary. Just don’t be offended if she turns down a shot of whiskey next time you run into her in the Main St. district.Nick Grever is checking in periodically with Cincinnati-based American Idol contest Jess Lamb about her post-Idol life. Check out previous "Beyond Idol Chatter" posts here. Visit jesslamb.com for music, show dates and more.
Plus, Ray's Music Exchange reunites for fourth annual show Saturday
0 Comments · Wednesday, March 25, 2015
LiVid, The Moxie Band, The Grove and Buffalo Wabs and the Price Hill Hustle celebrate new releases this weekend. Plus, Ray's Music Exchange returns for fourth annual reunion show and announces new offshoot band Rays.
Post Rock provocateurs Us, Today flip the script on their improv structure for the composed and concussive 'TenEnemies'
0 Comments · Wednesday, March 25, 2015
Cincinnati trio Us, Today is taking things to the next level with the new full-length release 'TenEnemies.'
Plus, Go Go Buffalo and Dead Man String Band also celebrate new releases this week
0 Comments · Wednesday, March 18, 2015
Adventurous Cincinnati Chamber Folk quartet The Happy Maladies unveil their stunning Must Love Cats project, featuring compositions from various outside composers. Plus, one-man-show Dead Man String Band celebrates the release of the new full-length I and heavy Psych Rock crew Go Go Buffalo unleashes its debut EP, It Ain't Worth It.